The largest airlift of rhinos ever undertaken has begun. As on the 28th April, the first group of rhinos, caught in South Africa, were released into Botswana.
Because of the long and porous border between the Kruger National Park in South Africa and Mozambique, it is proving impossible to protect the rhino population in the park and elesewhere from the constant stream of poachers from villages just inside Mozambique who are hell bent on killing them for their horns.
Horns are now valued at over $65000 per kilogram and are more valuable than gold, platinum or even cocaine. Mostly they are sold in Se Asia, particularly in Vietnam where they are thought to cure a variety of ills from a hangover to cancer.
These rhinos will form part of a seed population that will have a chance to expand in number and gene diversity, whilst being protected by the latest technology and a specialised anti-poaching unit.
At least 100 rhinos are being moved to Botswana as part of the Rhinos Without Borders initiative in partnership with andBeyond.
They will soon be able to get the next group to safety.
- See more at: http://africageographic.com/blog/record-number-rhinos-airlifted/#sthash.ATCUNMAc.dpuf